- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with its plan to reduce its staff through buyouts, with the first employees leaving the federal government by the end of summer.
- E&E News reports the agency plans to make buyout offers to 1,227 employees, and of those, more than 650 work in the agency's headquarters. The EPA's Office of Research and Development will offer the most buyouts at about 180.
- In April, EPA set aside $12 million for voluntary buyouts and early retirements in an effort to reduce the agency's workforce. EPA has about 15,000 employees, and at one point, President Trump indicated a plan to reduce that by about 3,200.
Initial plans out of the White House called for about 2,000 more position cuts, which could mean additional buyouts will be offered in the next fiscal year. According to E&E, which obtained an email detailing the planned buyouts, employees who accept will need to leave the agency by Sept. 2.
An internal memo at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had previously indicated the agency wanted to complete the push by September of this year.
In order to pay for higher defense spending, President Trump has proposed broad cuts for fiscal year 2018 — with the EPA's budget facing the deepest spending cuts. The White House's budget proposal slashes EPA's budget by $2.6 billion to $5.7 billion — a cut of more than 31%. The budget is not expected to pass Congress as proposed, however.
Federal News Radio reports the proposed buyouts would account for 8% of EPA's workforce. And Think Progress notes that agency officials have sent more than 180 buyout or early retirement offers for employees in the Midwest regional office.